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Dulcie Taylor's foray into the music business could have turned out far differently if she had continued to pursue her first love, the ukulele. Fortunately for fans of her guitar and dulcimer work and vocals, Taylor's ukulele dreams were smashed -- literally -- when she saw her beloved instrument crumpled to pieces beneath a drunken teenager's behind when he unwittingly sat on it. For a ten-year-old, it was a hard way to see a dream die. But in hindsight, a grown-up Taylor sees the ignominious demise of her ukulele as something of a blessing in disguise. The loss led her mother to present her with a guitar as a Christmas gift and Taylor went on to pursue the new, larger instrument with the same fervor she had previously reserved for the ukulele. More than a decade later, Taylor is putting out CDs and winning awards for her songs. Other Side of the Bed, a self-released recording, took home a Wammie, presented by the Washington Area Music Association, in 2000. That same year, in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, five Taylor-penned numbers won awards. At North Carolina's Merlefest the following year in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, Taylor placed among the finalists. In addition, she performed for the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest's ceremony, as well as at Merlefest. Taylor continued to build a strong catalog with subsequent albums Diamond & Glass (2002), Mirrors and Windows (2004), Free of this Sorrow (2012), and Only Worn One Time (2014). The South Carolina native was based in Los Angeles for a period. In California, she performed as an opener for a long list of artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Asleep at the Wheel, Vern Gosdin, and Eddy Raven. She later settled in Washington, D.C., but it's her early life in South Carolina that helps infuse her songs with magic, causing critics to rave about her keen understanding of the human heart and small-town living. During her childhood, Taylor was surrounded by music. She took lessons and her relatives were positive role models. An aunt was a radio singer in their small town, while another aunt was a piano teacher. Overlying it all was the recorded music favored by different family members. Her sister grooved to the Beatles and Bob Dylan, while her mom's eclectic tastes spanned everything from Old Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, to the hip Ella Fitzgerald, to the hip-swiveling Elvis. Show tunes captivated another relative. Taylor absorbed it all, including Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade," a haunting melody that her mom would make sure played after every screening in the movie theater the family owned. ~ Linda Seida